The Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA) of Scotland is urging UK retailer Asda to end its relationship with Wester Ross Fisheries, because of its “appalling sea lice record.”
According to S&TA, the latest quarterly sea lice report published by the salmon farming industry reveals that in the Kennart to Gruinard region of the north-west Highlands, where there are seven farms operated by 2 companies — Wester Ross Fisheries and Scottish Sea Farms — adult female sea lice numbers were way over the industry’s threshold for three months. In September, the monthly lice count on farms in the area was over nine times the threshold. In addition, those levels have been over that threshold for each of the nine months to September.
According to S&TA, Wester Ross Fisheries has a long record of poor sea lice control. FHI inspections at Ardmair in Loch Kanaird on 10 November 2009, 15 June 2011, 2 August 2011 and 25 July 2012, at Corry in Loch Broom on 21 March 2011 and 6 June 2011 and in Little Loch Broom, at Ardessie on 7 June 2011, 2 August 2011 and 16 May 2013 all recorded that sea lice levels of the farmed fish breached the suggested adult female sea lice threshold in the industry’s own Code of Good Practice during the period that records were inspected.
“The production of huge number of juvenile sea live by these farms presents an unacceptable threat to the conservation of wild salmon and sea trout,” S&TA said.
“The sea lice numbers in the region where Wester Ross Fisheries have all their marine farms are shocking and the salmon farmers in these areas have lost all control,” said Hugh Campbell Anderson, S&TA chair. “We call on Asda to make a stand and end its relationship with Wester Ross Fisheries Limited in the interests of the conservation of Scotland’s iconic wild salmon and sea trout. Nor is this message just for Asda. All supermarkets must stop hiding behind opaque certification schemes that mean little in practice. They need to take an honest look at their producers and where they are found wanting, where they are causing damage to wild fish conservation, those producers should be dropped.”